D&D 4e: Barons of the Wild – Session 9 & 10

Bogtown is dead

The Munch Bunch set about exploring the mad labyrinth of the Copper Holes, and came across a gelatinous cube that was congealing in the way of some contraption attached the labyrinth wall.  After a spirited battle in which both Pujols and Keelix were almost digested to death, they stomped the jelly flat and fiddled with the knobs and levers on the wall.  Llamers was able to determine that it controlled the movement of the labyrinth, and deduced that they could use this knowledge to hide the hoards of wealth they had found. “Until we can return it to its owners.”

The group exited the Copper Holes, gathered up Dawny the Halfwit Halfling, who had been practicing his art of tattoo on Chuggs, and with their newfound Bronze Warder headed west to the bog.

As they made their way further west, disease festered in the woods around them… and within their own bodies.  Llamers and Pujols injuries both were getting worse as the days were passing.  While stopping to rest, Ansis noticed that a mist had been following them for the last day or so, reaching out and calling to his god Erathis, he felt no kinship to the mist, sensing no soul to speak of.

Keelix, impulsive as ever, rushed into the mist swinging her swords wildly.  The mist formed together suddenly to reveal a pale manshape that Keelix and Llamers both recognized as their old vampiric companion Vlad.  Accompanying Vlad was a young teenaged waifish boy whom Vlad named Lickspittle, who stared adoringly at Vlad at all times.  The boy was obviously sick with the Grey Rot, but seemed half healthy, which was unexpected.  Vlad asked the heroes to return a “family heirloom” that he had lost in the marsh near Bogtown, and that he believed a woman had hoodwinked him out of it, but he had little proof.  The heirloom looks for all intents and purposes as a simple grass woven bracelet.  A description that matched a bracelet that the heroes noticed dangling from Lickspittle’s ankle.

The heroes agree to do so if Vlad can tell them about a cure to the disease they have.  An agreement which he smirkingly accepts.

We all know what this house actually was

Traveling deeper still into the Bogtown marsh, the heroes found themselves bogged down by the murk and strange poisonous rivelets coursing through the deadened land.  Ansis commanded the Bronze Warder forward, pulling them on the wagon through the foul slime.  Stumbling across a 400 foot plummeting moat type crevice surrounding a risen section at the center of the bog, Ansis called again upon his god for assistance and Erathis sent a vision of a rope bridge to the north, with a thousand eyes in the darkness.

Reaching the rope bridge, the heroes became acutely aware that the bridge had been taken over by arachnids.  Slowly but surely the Bunch crept their way across the bridge, fighting spider spawnlings as they went.  Pujols almost fell to his doom, but his monkey man hands saved his monkey man bacon.

As the Bunch pushed further west past the bridge, the land around them seemed to look cleaner and healthier as they came closer to a beautiful looking house in the middle of the woods.

After Llamers knocked and tried to ascertain whether anyone was home, the others manning a shuttered window each as Keelix entered the house through the unlocked main door.   The inside was very dark, but arrayed nicely.  Four columns had chairs set against them with Frogmen sitting in them, eyes glazed.  A beautiful woman, sitting near a fire that had no smoke outside, was rocking in a wooden rocking chair, and asked Keelix to have a seat and relax.  Keelix, noticing that the woman had the bracelet Vlad was looking for, informed the woman that her friends needed help.  As she sat down to discuss it, her eyes glazed and she lost all conscious thought.

The remaining folk came in from the outside, and saw Keelix sitting in the chair, non responsive.  They soon realized something was wrong when the door snapped shut, and the woman insisted they have a seat.  The room began to get hotter as the flames leapt from the hearth.  The heroes began beating the frogmen that sat in the chairs.  It became clear that the house was somehow gaining power from the frogmen, and that when they were disconnected from the chairs, the flame died down.  When that would happen, the keen-eyed of the heroes could see that the room wasn’t what it seemed.

It also became clear that the woman in the house was not a beautiful woman, but a horrid hag, and that the flames weren’t a fire at all, but wagging tentacles.  While the heroes slashed at the house, Ansis had the Bronze Warder approach the flames.  As it did so, there was a connection between the two that caused the Warder to glow an increasing intensity of blue.  After dispatching the frogs, and deeply wounding what was now the now obviously fleshy tomb, the hag cast a backfiring spell and the heroes convinced the hag to drop the bracelet.  She then stepped into the flaming tentacles, letting them embrace her.  It was a portal.  A Shadowfell crossing, and she was attempting to escape.

Ansis had the Bronze Warder approach the gate, and as he did so the gate’s flaming pseudopods began to slow, and the hag began to get worried.  Once the Warder stepped into the gate and was enveloped, the gate turned from writhing mess to stone statue.  The change happened quickly, and effected the whole room.

Stepping out, the heroes realized that they had been in the stomach of a monstrously swollen and deformed goblin.  A goblin that the heroes recognized as Splug, now immortalized as a giant bloated stone statue.

Pujols put the bracelet on his arm and immediately felt a healing difference, and saw a small change through the day’s travel it took to return to the spider bridge.  Once arriving, the Bunch noticed that there were spider parts scattered on the far side of the bridge.  Once they crossed they saw a pair of eyes watching them from the rotten bog, coming closer they discovered Dawny and Chuggs.  Dawny proudly declared that they “Got those blasted spideys for ya!”  While Chuggs foamed and oozed on the ground from his myriad spider bites.

Vlad appeared shortly after.  After Llamers failed to conceal the bracelet she had borrowed from Pujols, Vlad became angry and demanded that the deal they had struck be honored.  “Negotiations” then led to near deadly force, and due to Ansis’s convincing and wonderous radiant flames Vlad agreed to give them the bracelet that his friend Lickspittle wore.  In return they would spare his life.  He told them that more of the bracelets could be found to the north near Milltown, and vanished.

Lickspittle came out of his spell once Vlad disappeared,  and was shocked about his current diseased condition.  Ansis attempted to heal him, but failed miserably causing a rapid reaction by the disease that killed Lickspittle lickity-split.

The heroes then set up camp, preparing themselves to head north, into the heart of the wildness that had taken over the region.

 

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